It used to be that studying design was not considered viable due to the lack of career prospects. However, the repeated success of design students and the positive impact they bring to society have dispelled that misconception.
More students opt to study design, and they choose to do so at the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) for the Industrial Design, Visual Effects, Animation as well as Digital Advertising courses.
APU’s students are carefully guided by experienced lecturers to find their creative direction. They help them solidify and grow their foundation in artistic skills, plus equip them with the tools they need to stand out in the crowd.
The guidance from lecturers and the strength of the course curriculum together contribute to the adaptability of APU graduates, making them highly in demand by employers. The 2018 and 2019 editions of the Graduate Tracer Study by Ministry of Higher Education showed that APU graduates had a 100% employability rate.
Here are some examples how APU students showcase their talents and create meaningful designs for competitions and industrial partnerships.
They Work on Sustainable Solutions to Solve Global Issues
Every year APU students take part in scores of competitions on the local and international levels. They use their design skills to address issues that we face every day. Product Design students Kuan Weiking and Theodore Garvindeo Seah used their skills learned at APU to address a simple issue: How to keep food fresh without electricity. Their answer to that is Kuno, a sustainable and eco-friendly cooler fridge that requires zero electrical power. The cooler fridge keeps fruits and vegetables fresh and last longer than usual in a hot and dry climate. This product primarily will benefit communities with no access to electricity and proper food storage.
The sustainable cooler fridge earned them the 2020 James Dyson Award, one of 20 winners from around the world. They are currently working with an industry partner to create a prototype.
They Use Their Designs to Address Current Issues
As the pandemic drags on for a second year, many adjustments have been made to accommodate the new normal. These changes are not only limited to how we work and how we live, but also in the designs of everyday items.
The Malaysian International Furniture Fair’s Furniture Design Competition 2021 chose the theme Design for the New Normal in their bid to address this change. APU’s Natalie Kang Zhi Le won the competition with her design that tackles the issue of storage for excessive seating due to social distancing rules.
Her design combined form with function and the result is a dining set that makes space-saving convenient for businesses such as restaurants and cafes. A furniture company has been working with her to create a prototype.
They Use Film to Highlight Key Topics
APU Digital Film student Himavarthininy was a finalist at the 4th Dimension International Film Festival 2021, Bali, Indonesia, under the category of First Time Filmmaker Award for her thriller short film, Wolf. The short film is inspired by the unsolved murder cases in Malaysia and showcases Himavarthininy’s views on childhood trauma.
In addition to that, Himavarthiniy’s film project Saabham secured two accolades at the SDG Filmfest 2021 - the Best Overall Film which has a cash award of £400 (RM2,400) as well as the Dramatization or Re-enactment Award, which carries a £150 reward. There were more than 87 films from UK, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
They Use Their Creativity to Entertain Others
APU Animations students Adrian Au Tak Fung, Thomas Teoh Kuan Yang and Shirley Sii Xue Lin also have been recognised for their creativity.
Inspired by the flocks of pigeon around famous vacation spots, Adrian’s Peegoo Pigeon was one of the Official Selection for the WTF Annecy 2021, Happy Valley Animation Festival 2021 and First-Time Filmmaker Online Sessions 2021.
As for Thomas, his Tako-san – where humanoid fish, octopus and food blend into one, managed to secure Special Mentioned in the 17th Mini Film Festival 2021 as well as Official Selection in the 7th Siding Festival of Film 2021and UELAA Panorama 2021.
In addition, Shirley’s Dream and Jealous Love also was named as Official Selection in Animart Festival 2021. Her project Dream shows the example of never give up under any circumstances while Jealous Love shows how to fight for love.
They Use Various Spaces to Showcase Their Creativity
APU collaborates with various businesses every year to provide the latest update on industry trends and practices. Space Hotel in Kuala Lumpur is one of the partners with a long history of working together on different projects, a partnership that began when the hotel owners approached the group of lecturers and students who were working onsite for another project nearby.
The first project, a mural on the hotel balcony, was well-received by the owners. In the project, 2 lecturers were on hand to assist the students in completing the mural. APU students would go on to complete 2 other projects with the hotel in the following years, with a poster-designing competition for young students the most recent joint project.
Through these collaborations, students not only were able to utilise their design skills but also skills in dealing with clients and other parties. It gave them the confidence and experience to explore a wider range of career opportunities after graduation.
Whether it’s taking part in competitions or working with industrial partners, APU students produce designs and artworks that look good and serve meaningful purposes. With a strong curriculum as the backbone, faculty members are ever present to better prepare students for the industry.
Want to be part of APU’s design programmes? Talk to our counsellors today and find out on the qualifications requirements as well as info on scholarships for your education at APU!